8 Steps To Applying To College During COVID

A major decision students make each year is choosing a college. It impacts where a student lives, their friends, their potential income and career. Making this decision has been further complicated by COVID but Pathway to Purpose is here to help! Check out our 8 Steps to Applying to College During COVID!

1. Find Your Fit
When creating your college list, focus on 3 areas of fit — academic, financial and social fit. What are you looking for in a college? Does each college meet your needs? Students and families can still find their college “fit” during COVID.

2. Show Demonstrated Interest
Admissions representatives want to see that you are interested in their college/university. Show up! Sign-up for the email list, and take full advantage of virtual opportunities to interact with students, administrators and faculty. Be sure to also read and respond to emails, spend time browsing each college website and participate in virtual college tours. Keep in mind, colleges can track your engagement- opening emails and clicking links, the website pages you‘ve visited and how long you spend on each one. They can also see if you are following the college on social media. How have you been showing demonstrated interest?

3. Understand “Test Optional” Choices
Due to COVID some colleges/universities are now test optional, while others allow for test-optional applicants. Do your research and call the admissions office of each college to learn more about their “test optional” choices. If you’ve already taken the ACT or SAT, and you are applying to test optional colleges,  schedule a call with your college counselor or guidance counselor to discuss if your score adds value to your application.

4. Choose Your Essay Topic Wisely
Now more than ever, your story must set you apart from thousands of other applicants. Your college essay gives you a chance to use your voice to share your experiences, passions and goals. This is your opportunity to detail your high school experience and the challenges you overcame. Instead of focusing on missed opportunities, focus on things you HAVE done. How are you standing out among thousands of applicants?

5. Let Your Personality Shine! Stand Out!
Since you will be communicating with admissions representatives over the phone and online, your attitude matters now more than ever. How are you demonstrating your motivation and love for learning? How are you showing up on each call or interview? Do you look and sound enthusiastic for the opportunity to be a college student?

6. Take Full Advantage of Virtual Opportunities
Virtual events offer college-bound students the opportunity to educate themselves about the colleges they are considering. It can also help students build important relationships with admission representatives, administrators, and current students.

7. Learn About The College Location
Getting to know the area your college is located in can help you decide if you can really see yourself there for the next 2 or 4 years. While making your college list, be sure to calculate your commute cost, including  all breaks (summer, spring break, winter break, etc). Sit with your parents or guardians to discuss expected commute cost and feasibility.

8. Carefully Review Your Application
Take time to prepare and complete your application before submitting it! Be sure that the application you submit is an accurate depiction of how great you are! Have a trusted adult or professional review your application before submitting!

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